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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Monrovia : Ticking Sparks Bomb Scare

April 01, 1993

A ticking cassette recorder mistakenly mailed to a Monrovia insurance office sparked a bomb scare Tuesday in a four-story office building.

During the two-hour emergency that began at 9:46 a.m., more than 200 workers were evacuated from their offices at 1333 Mayflower Ave. Police cordoned off an area surrounding the building, firefighters were placed on standby, and the Sheriff's Department bomb squad was summoned.

"Everybody was laughing at us, but that's OK," said Tina Akers-Feduska, a supervisor at Transamerica Insurance Group. "Better safe than sorry."

The scare began when the insurance company received its usual morning paperwork delivery from an Oregon client. But the package was ticking loudly with a tinny, hollow sound, Akers-Feduska said. Inside the envelope, a hard square shape was clearly visible.

Sheriff's bomb squad experts who tore the package apart found five cassette recorders, each of them with a tape inside. One machine was dented and playing, with a tape spool that had run its length, causing a clicking sound.

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